One of most powerful elements of The BUILD Health Challenge® (BUILD) is that no community is learning alone – they are part of a peer cohort that has now grown to 55 communities across the country. The collective learnings that BUILD reports on are applicable to communities of all types because they are drawn from communities of varying demographics, health issues, partnership styles, and political atmospheres. However, every BUILD awardee is united in that their approach follows the BUILD framework. They are bold, upstream, integrated, local, and data-driven, as well as grounded in health equity – a model that we believe can be replicated and scaledBelow is a selection of key reports, produced by BUILD, that aim to share our collective learnings with the field 


Data Sharing Within Cross-Sector Collaborations 

Data sharing is routinely recognized as one of the most challenging aspects of cross-sector partnerships, but it can also be one of the most rewarding. From privacy and trust issues, to legal agreements, to understanding and translating data, BUILD communities navigate challenges in collection, sharing, and analysis. In this report, BUILD looked at common challenges, powerful opportunities, and lessons learned during the first cohort of BUILD partnerships, including key takeaways on working within HIPAA regulations, data collection and sharing, and data accessibility.  

Read the report here. 

Over the last five years, we’ve seen some incredible examples of transformative data sharing – both simple and deeply complex. BUILD awardees have launched community-led collection methods, designed analyses that make the case for investment, and created shared data platforms to track upstream interventions and health outcomes. As data analysis options become more sophisticated, and data users become more savvy, we are also learning more about what equitable data practices look like and how to implement them. Data has a reputation as a tool of the powerful, but it can take on new dimensions when made available to all partners.  


Conversations with Hospital and Health System Executives: How Hospitals and Health Systems Can Move Upstream to Improve Community Health 

One of the unique elements of the BUILD program – and one of the biggest hurdles for some applicants to overcome – is the requirement that the local hospital, health system, or payer partner agree to match the BUILD grant dollars. Implemented in the wake of the Affordable Care Act regulation that non-profit hospitals must commit community benefit dollars to promote health in the community, BUILD hoped to incentivize hospitals and health systems to invest those dollars in addressing upstream health issues in partnership with community leaders and other local stakeholders.   

Read the report here.  

But in a nation where healthcare is often valued over prevention, what led the BUILD healthcare partners to commit to a program like BUILD, instead of more traditional practices like charity care? Our funding partners at the de Beaumont Foundation joined with BUILD to explore these innovative approaches to community investment. In this report, we talked to executives who shared how the role of hospitals and health systems is changing in America and how they view opportunities to leverage their reputation and resources to rethink community health in new ways. The report includes best practices and how-to guides for forging community-led partnerships with hospitals and health systems. As the conversation continues to shift towards a broader understanding of what influences health in our communities, especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the BUILD hospital and health systems already serve as a model for moving upstream and investing in their community members 


Keys to Collaboration 

Every BUILD partnership has, at its core, four key stakeholders: community members, community-based organizations, the local health department, and a hospital, health system, or payer. While every partner has a natural vested interest in improving health, the practices, incentives, and power dynamics built up over decades don’t always lend themselves to alignment and collaboration. BUILD partnerships are transformative in their communities, but they aren’t always easy to create and sustain. This report looks at best practices, lessons learned, and key steps to building a strong collaborative.  

Read the report here. 

Initiating a new relationship – or repairing a fraught one – is only the first step. From the BUILD communities, we’ve learned an immense amount about what it takes to work together in the long-term. From governance structures and decision-making processes, to power rebalancing and trust building, all 55 BUILD collaboratives have committed to examining and strengthening their partnerships with a shared goal of better health in their communities. Five years later, many of the initial BUILD partnerships are still working together and we continue to learn from them on just how impactful the process and the outcomes can be for those who make the commitment